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Practice One - Schumacher starts well at Monza 07 Sep 2012

Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice, Monza, Italy, Friday, 7 September 2012 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice, Monza, Italy, Friday, 7 September 2012 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice, Monza, Italy, Friday, 7 September 2012 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice, Monza, Italy, Friday, 7 September 2012 Ma Qing Hua (CHN) HRT Formula One Team HRT F112 Development Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice, Monza, Italy, Friday, 7 September 2012

Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher set the fastest lap in the first practice session on Friday for the Formula 1 Gran Premio Santander d'Italia 2012, recording a time 0.301s faster than Spa winner Jenson Button in his McLaren.

Veteran Schumacher set the 1m 25.422s benchmark relatively early in the 90 minutes, and as Button managed 1m 25.723s only four others were in the ‘ace’ sub 1m 26s bracket.

Nico Rosberg backed his Mercedes team mate with 1m 25.762s for third ahead of the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa on 1m 25.800s and 1m 25.861s respectively. Alonso stopped in the first chicane late in the session, with mechanical problems.

Lewis Hamilton was the final fast man, with 1m 25.944s in his McLaren. Alonso was the only one of the top six not to make a run over the sleeping policemen in the chicanes, as all of the others had minor offs.

Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen had the best of the lot, aviating over the second chicane in his Lotus, and had to settle for seventh fastest time of 1m 26.046s which left him ahead of Sauber’s Sergio Perez on 1m 26.323s, Red Bull’s Mark Webber on 1m 26.390s, and Pastor Maldonado, whose Williams stopped late in the session with mechanical issues after posting 1m 26.504s.

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel did mainly long runs for 1m 26.508s and 11th place, ahead of Force India’s lead runner Nico Hulkenberg on 1m 26.518s, Williams reserve Valterri Bottas on 1m 26.641s and Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi on 1m 26.746s.

Lotus’s Jerome D’Ambrosio was faster than Raikkonen at a comparable point early on, but thereafter focused on distance runs having posted 1m 27.180s when the Finn’s best was 1m 27.369s. That left him 15th ahead of Force India tester Jules Bianchi on 1m 27.192s, the Toro Rossos of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne on 1m 27.373s and 1m 27.789s, the Caterhams of Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov on 1m 27.855s and 1m 28.578s, the Marussias of Charles Pic and Timo Glock on 1m 28.751s and 1m 29.207s, and the HRTs of Pedro de la Rosa and Ma Qing Hua.

The Spaniard lapped in 1m 29.331s while the Chinese rookie acclimatised to his first run at an official Grand Prix with 1m 31.239s. A potentially faster lap was spoiled when he got sector two wrong, but he did a respectable job.

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